HCMC confirms first coronavirus infection linked to northern hotspot

By Thu Anh, Huu Cong, Dinh Van   January 29, 2021 | 10:26 pm PT
HCMC confirms first coronavirus infection linked to northern hotspot
A restaurant in HCMC's District 11 is being investigated for its connection to a coronavirus case, January 30, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van.
A man coming back to HCMC from the northern Hai Duong Province, a Covid-19 epicenter, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the HCMC Department of Health, said Saturday the man just returned from Hai Duong's Nam Sach District and is a cousin of a confirmed patient there.

On Jan. 18, he had been to a wedding in Hai Duong together with the cousin, without wearing masks. He later had a cough, headache and lost his sense of smell.

On Jan. 28, he flew to HCMC on Vietnam Airlines flight VN213 that took off at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport. Once reaching HCMC and being aware of the latest outbreak, he reported his travel and contact history to the authorities.

He was quarantined at the District 11 Hospital in the city, before being transferred to the Cu Chi field hospital once his tests returned positive. The case has yet to be confirmed by the Ministry of Health.

While in HCMC, he was in either direct or indirect contact with 16 people, including hotel employees, a taxi driver and a restaurant worker in District 11. All have been quarantined and being tested. 12 have tested negative once.

On the VN213 flight, 27 passengers were seated close to him, including 16 from HCMC. Two have yet to be reached by authorities.

HCMC authorities have locked down a hotel and a restaurant in District 11 in connection to the man.

By Saturday morning, Vietnam has registered 1,739 cases, including 180 from the current outbreak which emerged from Thursday. Hai Duong has recorded 157 cases of those.

The pandemic has infected more than 102.5 million people worldwide, killing more than 2.2 million.

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